General Motors' dispute with minority auto dealers illustrates the pitfalls involved in measuring minority progress by the numbers.
The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers says GM has terminated 61 franchise agreements with minority dealers this year -- a number GM will not confirm. Several former dealers say GM often gives new dealers stores in poor locations. That's what can happen when an automaker is trying to fulfill a quota.
The association has asked automakers to allot 15 percent of their franchises to minority dealers. But the association has not set a deadline, giving automakers some flexibility to meet that target.
NAMAD and automakers should consider a focus on the quality, not quantity, of minority dealerships. In the long run, that is more likely to produce thriving minority-owned stores.